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Cooking with Onions

by Nikki Willhite

Onions have to be one of my favorite vegetables. I put onions in and on everything. They are a great food for giving flavor to other foods.

There are actually over 500 varieties of onions. Most of us don't think beyond the yellow, white, or red onions we find in the produce department of our grocery store, or the green onions or scallions.

When we choose our onions, we should make sure they are dry and hard and haven't begun to sprout. Onions can go bad quickly. That is why many people hang them in a cool, dry place, sometimes in panty hose with knots between them, to let air circulate around them and keep them dry.

If one onion goes bad, it will quickly spread to the others. If stored properly, onions should last around 3 weeks. They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple months, but their strong smell will spread to other food.

If your eyes water up when chopping up onions, run the onions under cold water and cut up the root last. To clean your hands, use warm salty water or vinegar.

If an onion starts to sprout, you can put it in a pot in the windowsill, and cut off the green part to use in salad dressing.

If you only want to use half an onion, use the top half first. The bottom half will last longer in the refrigerator, because it won't sprout.

Onions are like potatoes in that you want to poke them before cooking them whole so that steam doesn't build up inside causing the onion to burst.

If you've ever wondered why cooked onions taste so much better on a sandwich than raw onions, it is because when you cook an onion, the sulfurs in it turns to sugar. In fact, as the sugar cooks, it actually caramelizes.

Onions are a great food for the frugal cook. They are inexpensive, and can make plain food great food. Choose your onions carefully, store them well, and eat better tasting food.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 

 

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